Slow Cooker Chili + Cheesy Grits

The weather here in Oklahoma is finally getting chilly! I’m so excited to be slow-cookin my way into cooler weather these days. As my patience for reading through recipes gets slimmer (’cause……twins!) I find myself throwing ingredients together in a mad dash between entertaining and feeding two babies. Sometimes my ‘lil on-the-spot meal creations fail. But every once in awhile……they WIN!

I’ve got a winner for ya.

I’ve noticed that most people don’t put a base of some sort underneath their chili when it’s served. Well, my sweet southern belle of a mama raised me differently. Mom would typically cook up some white rice and use that as a base for the chili and it was deeee-lish! But recently I got the inspiration to use cheesy grits as a heavenly little platform instead.

Y’all.

Oh my gosh.

It was pure heaven.

I made this on Sunday afternoon, stored it in the fridge (where it only continued to grow more and more delicious), then by Monday afternoon I was ready for a hearty lunch. I came home from taking the twins with me to Target and they were still asleep in their car seats. WIN! I whipped up some grits, added freshly grated cheese, topped the dish with chili, then more cheese for the garnish, and then…The Hallelujah Chorus broke into song. It was delicious, hearty, and good for my tired mama soul. Do you have a tired soul these days? I highly recommend trying this recipe. Your soul and stomach will thank you.

Here’s the lineup:

For the chili…

  • 1 pound (or so) – Ground Beef
  • 1 – Yellow Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 13 cup – beer (whatever you have, but a full bodied beer is best!)
  • 2 cups – Marinara Sauce
  • 1 can – Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can – Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 can – Pinto Beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons – Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon – Cumin
  • 2 tablespoons – Garlic Powder
  • 2 tablespoons – Italian Seasoning Mix
  • 2 teaspoons – Salt
  • 1teaspoon – Cayenne Pepper

6o9c9738For the grits…

  • 1cup – Quick Grits
  • 1 cup – Water
  • 1 tablespoon – Butter
  • 1cup – Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (mostly for the grits, the rest for the garnish)
  • Salt – to taste

Step 1

Combine all of the dry seasonings (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, italian seasoning mix, salt, and cayenne pepper) into a small dish, then set aside until Step 3.

Step 2

Cook the ground beef in a skillet so that it’s just browned. Drain the excess fat, then return the ground beef to the stove.

Step 3

Add dry seasonings to skillet, coating the browned ground beef. Be sure to turn the heat to low.

Step 4

Pour the seasoned ground beef into the slow cooker. Add the following: raw coarsely chopped yellow onions (I don’t recommend cooking the onions with the ground beef in step 2 because it gives a slight crunch to the chili – loved it!), drained pinto and kidney beans, diced tomatoes, beer, and marinara sauce. Stir well to combine all that gloriousness.

Step 5

Set it and forget it, y’all! Set it on high, and stir occasionally if you have time. 2 to 3 hours later your home will smell heavenly.

Step 6

Once the chili is ready you can get the instant grits going in a saucepan. First, boiling your 1 cup of water, then add the grits, salt (to your taste), and butter. Be sure to stir this well to avoid clumps. Then…the cheese! Stir the shredded cheese into your grits. Add enough cheese until it tastes just right for you.

Step 7

Layer the cheesy grits first, then the chili, then some more shredded cheese for garnish.

Enjoyyyy!

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

First of all a HUGE thank you to all of you who submitted your slow cooker recipes over the weekend! Even though I have like 3720483 to choose from, keep ’em coming! You can submit your favorites in a form in this post: Slow Cooker Recipes, Please!  

Here’s the full recipe, and below are some pretty pictures of what you’ll need. You may notice that some of the ingredients didn’t make it to the photos. This was a work in progress, with the help of my hubby, so we adjusted the recipe as it was cooking. Here’s the final recipe that I (I mean…”we”…hehe) recommend…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs of Beef, chopped…you can usually buy pre-cut beef stew at the grocery store. Be sure to look for beef that is well marbled with fat as that’s what will make it melt in your mouth with flavor after slowly cooking for 8 glorious hours!
  • 4 Carrots
  • 3 stalks of Celery
  • 4 small Potatoes
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 2 tsps Paprika
  • 4 Garlic cloves 
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 tsps Salt
  • 2 tsps Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Seasoned Salt
  • 2 Tbsps Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsps Worcestershire Sauce…I’m now exhausted from trying to learn the correct spelling of that, by the way.
  • 1 1/2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine…I used a Cabernet Sauvignon – slightly dry with just the right hint of sweetness.

Stew Beef

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garlic+bay leaf+salt+pepper+paprikaFlour6O9C2413

STEP 1:

Peel and chopychop up the onion, garlic, and veggies! This takes a while so get the music playin, wine pourin, and hips movin! This may sound odd, but peeling and chopping veggies are actually two of my favorite things about cooking in my kitchen. It’s…it’s kind of why many of us loved coloring in elementary school (or…um…last week) – it’s therapeutic. It’s simple. It’s also (usually) an un-rushed step that allows us to just zone out and relax while preparing something glorious. No T.V. or iPhones…we’re using our hands and creating something to feed our souls. I just LOVE it!

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STEP 2:

Mix your dry ingredients together: flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and seasoned salt.

Dry ingredients - 1Dry ingredients - 2

STEP 3:

Lay the beef across the bottom of the slow cooker, then drizzle the dry ingredient mixture over the beef. Then…get your hands ready…’cause you’re goin’ in!!!

BeefDry ingredients over beef

Rrrraaawrrrr…get on in there with your hands!!! You’ll want to coat the beef completely in the flour mixture.

6O9C2445Coated beefTadaaaah! It should look a little like this when it’s all coated.

STEP 4:

Add the chopped onion, veggies, garlic, and bay leaf to the top:

Veggies Onion Garlic and Bay Leaf

STEP 5:

Time to add in the lovely flavorful moisture of beef broth, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce:

Beef brothred wineworcestershire and soy sauceSTEP 6:

Mix it up a bit one last time, set the slow cooker on LOW, and let it do it’s thang for around EIGHT HOURS. Ahhhhh how glorious. I could drive down to Dallas, TX and BACK in that time! If you’re able to though, I recommend stirring it a couple times to make sure the flavor and juices are distributing evenly.

STEP 7:

Okay one last thing – ya gotta add a crunch to this. Get some toast or ideally a slice of a baguette, toast it up, and drizzle a little butter overtop. It was heavenly, and the perfect solution to soaking up the stew broth as you savor each and every bite. The beef just melts away with each bite, the veggies are perfect, and the spices marry beautifully!

Enjoy, friends! Let me know how the recipe turned out for you!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Happy slow cookin 🙂

Katherine